Posts Tagged ‘books’


Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman

January 20, 2009

Title: Skeleton Creek

Author: Patrick Carman

Release Date: Feb. 10, 2009.

Edition: Paperback

Number of Pages: 186.

Grade: B

Contains: Coming-of-age, Relationships, Drama, Suspense, Mystery.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Writing: 8

Plot: 9

Characters: 8

Wow Factor: 8

Summary ( Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek … and Ryan and Sarah are trying to get to the heart of it. But after an eerie accident leaves Ryan housebound and forbidden to see Sarah, their investigation takes two tracks: Ryan records everything in his journal, while Sarah uses her videocam to search things out … and then emails the clips for Ryan to see. 

In a new, groundbreaking format, the story is broken into two parts — Ryan’s text in the book, and Sarah’s videos on a special website, with links and passwords given throughout the book.

Review: This book is the first of its kind. Targeted to reluctant readers, it asks that you read twenty pages of Ryan’s thoughts and adventures and your “reward” is to watch a video made by Sarah that relates to it. It’s a ghost story. I bet you’re wondering if it’s good enough to make your knees shake? I truthfully was scared throughout the book. I think the videos had a great impact in my whole perception of the book because I could view what Ryan was talking about in his journal. The videos just make it that much more like you’re really there, witnessing whatever this ghost is.

While I was reading it I had the sense that it was kind of like National Treasure meets lonelygirl15. It was short, quick, and effective. 

But I did have some problems with it. What if you’re not by a computer when you’re reading? This happened to me more than once. So I tried watching the video through my iPhone, but it didn’t work. Another thing is that I wished the supporting characters had been more developed. I felt as though I didn’t truly know them as much as I knew Ryan and Sarah and hope that in the next book there will be more explanation about them.

The ending was a total cliffhanger. But I do think it’s one more step to getting reluctant readers to pick up the second book in the series. And perhaps the piece that makes it that much more interactive is that this book is being speculated to be real over at

I recommend this book to boys 9-13 who don’t really enjoy reading. But if you’re like me– a total ghost stories and suspense fan– you’ll really get a kick out of this.

Want to watch a book trailer? Here ya go:


What’s on your Holiday Wishlist?

December 19, 2008

Hi booklovers,

Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Three Kings Day, and any other winter holiday I am forgetting is right around the corner. So I have an easy question for you guys… what books are on your wishlist?

I know a large part of my wishlist is just books. (Including a bookshelf to fit them all!) 

What books are on your wishlist for the holidays?

Leave your answers in the comments! 


Books on my wishlist:

1. I Know It’s Over by CK Kelley Martin: the plot just looks incredible and the reviews coming back for this book are phenomenal. What did you expect?

2. The whole Harry Potter series: Need I say more than the title?

3. The whole Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series: I’ve watched both movies but incredibly haven’t read the books. I need this!

4. Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber: I have Death By Latte (contest win) and don’t have the first one. Plus, I love mysteries!

5. Before I Die by Jenny Downham: Aside from the great reviews this one has been getting, I just want a book that makes me see what other people go through. 

6. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: It looks stupendous. Did you know it’s being made into a movie in 2009? Link here


7. In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg: It looks so cute and light, I want to read some real romance!


8. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: I see a girl carrying the last book in the series, The Sweet Far Thing, for like 2 weeks now (it’s an 800-page book). Wondering where I see her reading it? In the bathroom after 2nd period! It must be good… and the covers are beautiful. 





What books are on your wishlist for the holidays? Any suggestions on what else I should put on my wishlist?


Booking Through Thursday (12.18.08): Treat and Generosity

December 18, 2008

This week’s Booking Through Thursday comes in two parts. Why? Because two have been posted! 🙂


First post:

What is the best book you ever bought for yourself? And, why? What made it the best? What made it so special?

The best book I have ever bought for myself is probably Rumors: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen (the second one). I love the series and the second book was uh, the best one so far. I just love the way Godbersen writes. I love how the characters are… the plot, everything. I can’t wait for the next one which I will also buy with my own money, if that’s what it takes.


Second post:


Do you give books as gifts? To everyone? Or only to select people? How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?

Yes, I give books as gifts. Not to everyone because not everyone I know loves to read as much as I do to want books for gifts. 

My friends don’t really read much, except once in a while… so I can only give them a book I KNOW they will positively love. I LOVE to receive books as gifts. They make me so friggen happy. Especially if it’s a book I’ve been waiting around for (uh-hmm, that’s why I have a Wishlist on Shelfari!). I hope I get books for the holidays!


An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

December 14, 2008

Title: An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green

Edition: Paperback

Number of Pages: 256

Year: 2006

Grade: B-


Contains: Drama, Humor, Coming-of-Age, Relationships, Romance.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 9

Plot: 7

Writing: 9

Wow Factor: 8





(from Amazon): Colin Singleton believes he is a washed-up child prodigy. A graduating valedictorian with a talent for creating anagrams, he fears he’ll never do anything to classify him as a genius. To make matters worse, he has just been dumped by his most recent girlfriend (all of them have been named Katherine), and he’s inconsolable. What better time for a road trip! He and his buddy Hassan load up the gray Olds (Satan’s Hearse) and leave Chicago. They make it as far as Gutshot, Tennessee, where they stop to tour the gravesite of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and meet a girl who isn’t named Katherine. It’s this girl, Lindsey, who helps Colin work on a mathematical theorem to predict the duration of romantic relationships. The laugh-out-loud humor ranges from delightfully sophomoric to subtly intellectual, and the boys’ sarcastic repartee will help readers navigate the slower parts of the story, which involve local history interviews. The idea behind the book is that everyone’s story counts, and what Colin’s contributes to the world, no matter how small it may seem to him, will, indeed, matter. 



: Coming into this book I had a lot of expectations. I have heard so many great things about John Green, I have seen so many Brotherhood 2.0 videos and made an account on nerdfighters. I was both happy and disappointed. Truthfully, I just liked the book. I expected it to be this story that just stayed with me forever….

I loved the characters: Colin, Hassan, Hollis. Lindsey got a little annoying for me, what with her boyfriend and how she was different with different people. I really enjoyed the whole “let’s get into Satan’s Hearse and drive the country” kind of plot. I thought that the footnotes were amazing. It just made it that much better with the history, the foreign words, the pop culture references. John did put a lot of work into it and I can see that. I think Hassan and Colin’s relationship was the most interesting. To reiterate, I thought it was a very good book. It just didn’t blow me away like I thought it would. I think this is because it’s a summer book more than a thinking book like Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska seem to be. Don’t be discouraged from reading the book by my review. And BTW- the book is going to be a movie!


I’d Love To Know Your Thoughts on Twilight

November 22, 2008

Hi. Happy Twilight Movie Release Date.

I am not a “Twilighter” but I do see the positive Twilight means for Young Adult Literature. So I have quick questions for you if you’d like to fill them out…

1. What did you think of the movie?

2. Why?

3. What was wrong with it?

4. What made it great?

5. How were the actors?The scenes? The directing?

6. How could it have been better?

7. Are you glad you watched it at midnight if you did?

8. What changes in the movie did you like and not like?

9. Team Edward or Team Jacob?


Can’t wait to hear your responses! 
NCAA Mississippi Rebels Home & Office from Fanzz
Have a great end of the day and a great weekend at that. 🙂


Interview with Megan Kelley Hall

November 9, 2008

Hi guys! Remember my amazing review for Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall? Well here’s an interview with the amazing author! My questions are in bold and the answers are in normal text. I truly recommend Sisters of Misery… if you’d like to read the review click here

You can catch Megan at her website (where the link to her e-mail is), blog, and MySpace.


Who is your favorite character from Sisters of Misery?

My favorite character is, of course, Cordelia. She is caring, brilliant, loyal, outspoken, eccentric, free-spirited, beautiful, independent and mysterious. She’s just the coolest.


How did you get the idea for Sisters of Misery?

I grew up right next to Salem and I wanted to write something like a modern day witch hunt involving teen girls. I also loved the idea of someone like Cordelia coming to a stuffy New England town and how she would (or wouldn’t) fit in. The story actually grew around the image of the “faces in the wall.” There’s a local legend in one of my neighboring towns that three kids were killed in a drunk driving accident and that their faces kept showing up on this old stone wall at the crash site. I’ve been haunted by that idea of the faces in the wall, which is why I built a story around it. (I just changed the faces and made them belong to women wrongly accused of witchcraft.)


Why do you think Trevor did what he did?

I think Trevor is a spoiled, obnoxious, arrogant jerk.  Sad to say, I’ve met a few Trevors in my lifetime. I’ve also met a few Kates.  Though, I made the characters MUCH worse than anyone I’ve ever encountered (thankfully!). Trevor only cares about himself and think that the world revolves around him and his wants and needs. I think everyone has met a “Trevor” at one point in their life.


Do you think Kate is ALL evil?

Yes, Kate is pure evil. But, I don’t think that she really had a choice. Her mother and sister were terrible people and I think that if she had been born under different circumstances (not as rich, not as spoiled, not as pretty, not as privileged), she may have turned out differently. But as I said before, I’ve met many girls like Kate.  I don’t know why, but girls can be much crueler (and scarier) than boys.


Who do you think Cordelia is most vengeful of out of all the characters in the book?

I think that Kate is Cordelia’s main target for revenge. But I also think she feels betrayed by Maddie, Rebecca and Abigail.


Was publishing Sisters of Misery a difficult task?

SISTERS started off as an adult fiction—about a woman going back to her hometown to find out the mystery behind her cousin’s disappearance, but my agent thought that it would be scarier to put Maddie in the situation as it happened. I think she was right! Definitely scarier! After several rejections as an adult novel, I ended up having a series of strokes, lost partial vision and had open heart surgery at 32 (all of this is a result of my childhood cancer and radiation treatment). During my recovery period, I realized that I needed to make my dream of becoming a published author a reality. I had already written for some magazines like Glamour, American Baby and Elle, but I didn’t have a book published.  So, over the next year I rewrote my book, got an agent, reworked my book again (and again!) and finally got a two-book deal with a big publisher. All of this happened within one year.


Have you always wanted to be an author?

I’ve always written weird short stories (I’m a big fan of the spooky story with lots of twists and turns) for as long as I can remember. When I was in the fourth grade, I wrote about strange creatures, people being followed by ghosts, reincarnation, all sorts of strange, spooky stuff.  In high school and college, I took every course on Shakespeare that I possibly could.  I loved gothic short stories written by Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, William Faulkner and Nathanial Hawthorne. And then at Skidmore College, I studied Creative Writing with Steven Millhauser, who then went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. So, yes, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be a writer.


What is a normal day like for you?

It’s so super glamorous. I have Johnny Depp on speed dial, I go shopping with the cast of Gossip Girls, I trade parenting stories with Brad and Angelina over coffee.  Ha! I wish!! No, seriously, it’s not glamorous AT ALL! I love what I do and I love writing, but it’s very hard work and not as “cool” as I thought it would be. For some reason, I pictured myself as one of those über cool writers in coffee shops—you know the ones hunched over their laptops who trade fascinating stories with other writers—telling insider publishing jokes and basking in their fame.

My normal day is getting my daughter to kindergarten on time (not an easy task), running errands and doing household chores – ugh!, working for the literary publicity company I run with my mom and sister, trying to squeeze some writing in (I bring a notebook with me so that I can jot down ideas while I’m watching my daughter at the playground after school), answering emails (thank God for blackberries!), and hoping to have a spare twenty minutes to squeeze in a shower. So glamorous and cool, right?


Can you tell us what’s in store for The Lost Sister (11 months is too long of a wait!)?

Here’s the little teaser that is on the cover of book two. 



Some Secrets Won’t Stay Buried 

Sisters are born, not chosen…

Maddie Crane is grappling with the disappearance of Cordelia LeClaire, and trying to escape the grasp of The Sisters of Misery—an insidious clique of the school’s most powerful girls, whose pranks have set off a chain of horrific events, and who have Maddie in their sights… 

Beware the sister betrayed…

Now in a prestigious boarding school far away from her mysterious hometown of Hawthorne, Massachusetts, Maddie feels free from danger. But when an unmarked envelope arrives at her dorm containing a single ominous tarot card, Maddie realizes with terror that some secrets won’t stay buried. Knowing she must return to Hawthorne—a town still scarred by the evil of the Salem witch trials–Maddie prepares to face the fears of her past…and the wrath of the sister she wronged.


If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live and why?

I would live in Hawaii in a heartbeat. It’s truly Heaven on earth. Amazing! Now if I could just convince my husband…


If you could only choose one: to read books or to write books, which would you choose?

That’s like asking someone to choose between eating and sleeping. Both are essential to my life. Reading is a lot easier than writing, that’s for sure. But, when I’m reading, I get that insatiable urge to write. They really go hand in hand.


Thanks for taking the time to interview me for your blog! I hope that your readers enjoy SISTERS OF MISERY! Let them know that they can feel free to drop me an email or a note any time– I LOVE hearing from readers!!  Thanks so much, Vanessa!!


Have you read Sisters of Misery? What did you think? Are you excited for The Lost Sister? Is Megan the coolest or what? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


Books I Read in Oct. 2008

November 1, 2008

Here’s a list of books I’ve read this past month:

  1. Anthem by Ayn Rand
  2. Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

My favorite this month was Anthem. It was superb and I loved it. I will be posting a review soon!










What books have you read this past month? Which did you like the best? The least? Tell me in the comments!